Inside Biniam Girmay's remarkable journey to history-making Tour de France stage winner

Biniam Girmay, the first black African to win a Tour de France stage, charts his extraordinary rise

Biniam Girmay
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Tour de France hoped – expected? – for history on stage three in Turin, but the occasion that ensued was different and much more significant than Mark Cavendish winning a 35th stage; Biniam Girmay triumphing ahead of the best sprinters in the world to become the first black African cyclist to win a stage in the race is a watershed moment for the sport, a ceiling, at long last, punched through.

While Cavendish, and almost every other bike rider in the professional peloton, had the opportunity as a child to watch the Tour de France on holiday, a young Girmay never had the chance to watch his heroes, which included Cavendish, in the flesh.

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Chris Marshall-Bell

A freelance sports journalist and podcaster, you'll mostly find Chris's byline attached to news scoops, profile interviews and long reads across a variety of different publications. He has been writing regularly for Cycling Weekly since 2013. In 2024 he released a seven-part podcast documentary, Ghost in the Machine, about motor doping in cycling.

Previously a ski, hiking and cycling guide in the Canadian Rockies and Spanish Pyrenees, he almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains. He lives in Valencia, Spain.